How did in-yer-face theatre reflect the social and political climate of post Thatcher Britain?

Burdon, Chelsey (2009) How did in-yer-face theatre reflect the social and political climate of post Thatcher Britain? BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This study uses critical reviews and textual analyses of 5 key 'in-yer-face' plays, alongside contextual information regarding the political backdrop of 1990’s Britain, in an attempt to establish a relationship between this provocative form of theatre and the social and political climate of Britain in the wake of Thatcherism. The dramatic texts within this study cover a range of themes and differ greatly in terms of content, yet they share an aesthetic of cruelty and confrontational flair that places them under an umbrella term 'in-yer-face' theatre, popularised in the mid 1990’s and produced predominantly by young, emerging playwrights. Each chapter takes a well known quote from Margaret Thatcher as a starting point from which to deconstruct elements of British ideology and culture, positing the dramatic texts alongside the attitudes of Thatcherism and analysing them in light of their contextual background. The first chapter looks at David Eldridge’s Serving It Up and Judy Uptons Ashes and Sand, with particular regards to unemployment, the class divide and British Nationalism and looking specifically at the teenage generation. The second chapter focuses on the infamous Sarah Kane play Blasted and attempts to establish what its writer is trying to convey about war and Britain’s relation to and attitude towards it. Finally, the third chapter looks at the role of gender and sexuality in Mark Ravenhill’s Shopping and Fucking and Martin Crimp’s Attempts On Her Life, with particular reference to the crisis of masculinity and the fracturing of gender identities. This breadth of thematic study is underpinned by a grounded understanding of the political and social issues surrounding the plays and the policies and ideals put into practice by the Thatcherite government that may have influenced the writers.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:15
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/770

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